Survivor’s relief after UT Supreme Court affirms former USU athlete’s rape convictions
Jun 2, 2023, 6:33 PM | Updated: 9:55 pm
SALT LAKE CITY— After nearly a decade of seeking justice, one survivor said she finally has some closure.
There were seven women in a case involving former Utah State University football player Torrey Green.
The last time KSL’S Erin Cox interviewed the survivor together was in 2019, during the court proceedings.
As they spoke over the phone on Friday, there was happiness in the survivor’s voice.
“It hasn’t fully hit me yet that this could really be the end, and I can finally heal, move on and be my best self,” the survivor, who asked to remain anonymous said.
This survivor was an 18-year-old USU student when she met Torrey Green, a linebacker on the football team.
She was in her second semester of college when she said Green raped her.
“I think that’s been the hardest thing for me is accepting that I’ll never be who I was because I loved who I was, I love that woman,” the survivor said. “But change is not always a bad thing. Even though we went through a really, really bad traumatic experience, I know that I’m better for it. I’m a better woman.”
Seven other women testified against Green in court. In 2019, Green was convicted of multiple counts of rape.
Barbara Lachmar was one of the prosecutors who worked with the survivors.
“It’s a very grueling process,” Lachmar said. “Most of them were already traumatized, and to have to go through a process like this takes a lot of courage, stamina and willpower.”
In 2020, Green appealed his conviction, challenging the doctrine of chances—a legal term referring to the possibility that multiple people without any relationship to each other could accuse the same person.
Green’s appeal suggested there was no way six women could have similar cases and be tried all together, which is what happened.
The seventh victim was tried separately.
The Utah Supreme Court overturned the doctrine of chances for use in future cases and re-affirmed Green’s conviction due to overwhelming evidence in the cases.
“I’m so proud of them, and their courage and their steadfastness,” Lachmar said. “This was so difficult.”
The trial process was one law enforcement, attorney’s and victim advocates learned from, Lachmar said.
For the survivor, she has tried to heal over the past eight years—though the process has been interrupted by court proceedings, appeals and more.
Now, she hopes to focus on schooling, possibly becoming a victim-advocate herself, or maybe fulfilling her dream to become a nurse.
And though this was difficult, she said she is grateful she reported Green because it has helped save others.
“This is probably the happiest I felt about everything in a really long time,” said the survivor.
Green will continue to serve his sentence of 26 years to life in prison.